Tip #1: Don’t get on her bad side. Tip #2: There’s no good side.
read more at the J.C. site!
read more at the J.C. site!
Sorry… I had a rough week followed by traveling and then it’s spring break… yikes!
The winner of the ARC my dogs didn’t want me to give away is…
Elaine N! Email starts with… lan***@emba******.com
Please email me at shilohwalker2011 at gmail.com! (no spaces!)
You have two weeks to claim your prize!
It’s a Kit-related thing…not a Kit thing.
Her name is Frankie. At least, that’s what she calls herself.
She looks human, but she’s no more human than she is a faith-healer. That doesn’t stop her from using her…more unique abilities to take care of certain needs. It’s those abilities that lead to a chance encounter with an unusual woman in Florida.
It’s a chance encounter with fate that will set these two down a collision course with destiny.
This short story is loosely connected to the Kit Colbana Files. Can be read as a stand-alone.
Due out in June. Preorder links coming soonish…
Eventually, the emotions in my head, the misery and easing of it stopped crashing and swelling inside me, coming to an uneasy sort of peace.
I’d sleep—right there…
The sound had me coming up off the bed and landing in a crouch. Too many years of fleeing from those who might yet hunt me had me drawing my weapon. The blade was as long as my forearm, the metal matte black—it didn’t reflect any light, not that there was much of it in my room. I’d had the blade designed after a flash of light had almost given me away years ago. I wouldn’t make that mistake again. Not ever.
Head cocked, I listened.
Not even the brush of a shoe on pavement was that quiet. But somebody was outside, on the farthest edges of the parking lot.
I crept to the walls.
I hadn’t turned on the lights. I’m just as at home in the shadows and darkness as I am in the light. Comes from living in a perpetual gloom for the first two or three decades of my life. What might seem an unending, unyielding blackness to others was no hindrance to me. Placing one foot in front of the other, carefully placing each step, I made my way to the window, stopping just at the edge of the frame so I could peer out.
Behind me, the air in the room stirred.
There was no sound to indicate who it was, but I knew, nonetheless.
“They are clever, aren’t they?” I said softly.
Saleel’s scarred hand touched my shoulder. “Shall I take care of them?”
In Saleel’s mind, there was only one way to take care of something.
I shook my head.
If I really wanted to take care of them, we both knew I could do it myself. Just as we both knew that Saleel considered it his job. His…duty. Even an honor.
“No,” I said. They were closer now. I couldn’t see her, which was an oddity, considering how pale she was. I could barely see him, but he was a witch. I could smell a witch a mile away. One that pretty was worth keeping an eye on, too.
“I wonder what they want.”
“They don’t approve of you,” Saleel said, and his disgust was so thick, I could have spread it on a slice of toast.
I slid him a smirk over my shoulder. “Neither did you…once.”
His eyes, nearly black even in the bright of day, held mine. “I did not make a judgment simply because I saw you spread your hands out over a room of ill people.”
“No. You judged me for a different reason entirely.” I gave him an arch look.
A grim smile curled his lips.
Our history was complicated.
I held out a hand. “Come. I’m not in the mood for distractions tonight.”
I could practically taste his annoyance as he placed his hand in mine. He must have been in the mood to play cat and mouse.
I think so.
But they seemed bound and determined to keep me from getting any decent pictures of my ARCS.
It’s like puppy-geddeon.
I sit down, get the book out and puppies attack.
Either they are smelling the book, or smelling the camera, or nosing at my hands, because clearly, I’m on the floor and that means it’s time to play and/or pet them.
I just wanted to get a picture of the book.
So I decided maybe I should just try to work with it and take a picture of puppies and book…
And that didn’t go very well either.
Puppy was blurry or book was blurry or they’d start fighting.
Needless to say, it was an exercise in futility and I ended up not having the best picture for my contest.
The puppies kept wondering why I wasn’t petting them.
How dare I neglect them?
I never did get a great picture of the book.
But I really like that last one of my boy pup.
Staring so forlornly at me.
We’ll just go with it.
Now… about that contest thing!
I have a box of BUSTED ARCS. I’m going to give one away here.
Win an ARC of Busted
From the national bestselling author of Wrecked and Razed comes an emotionally charged story of undeniable passion and life-affirming love…
Like his brothers Zach and Zane, Trey Barnes thought he had found the love of his life. But fate had other plans. A widower who’s had to raise his five-year-old son on his own, Trey has not allowed himself to be with another woman. Until he meets Ressa Bliss at—of all places—a children’s library program. The beautiful librarian is wonderful with his son, Clay, but every time Trey even considers asking her out, he is tortured by guilt.
Fate is indeed fickle. When the two meet again at a conference, this time the attraction is too powerful to resist. But is their connection and passion strong enough to survive Trey’s deep inner torment?
Oh, honey…come to Mama.
Ressa Bliss would have been licking her chops if she had been anywhere remotely private.
Long, almost too lean, with a heavy growth of stubble and a mouth made for kissing, biting…other things…
He wore a dark pair of glasses that hid too much of his face and she wanted to reach up, pull them off.
Because she wanted to too much, she focused on the boy instead.
She shook his hand, much of what he’d just said running together in her head. She’d caught his name, though. “Well, hello, Clay. It’s lovely to meet you.”
He grinned at her, displaying a tooth that looked like it might fall out at any second—literally—she thought it might be hanging in there by luck alone.
Clayton caught the man’s hand in his and leaned against him. “This is my daddy.”
She slid Mr. Beautiful a look. “Hello, Clayton’s daddy.”
He gave her a one-sided smile. “Hi.” Then he crouched in front of his son. “So. Program lasts for fifty minutes. I’ll be over in the grown-ups area if you need me.”
“That area is boring.” Clayton wrinkled up his nose.
“Well, if I stay here, I’ll just play.” A real grin covered his face now and Ressa felt her heart melt. Since he was distracted, she shot a look at his hands—ring? Did he have one?
Crap. Some sort of gloves covered his hands from knuckle to well up over his wrists. No way to tell.
Clayton leaned in and wrapped his arms around his father’s neck. “Love you.”
And her heart melted even more as he turned his face into his son’s neck. “Love you, too, buddy. Have fun.”
A man like that was most certainly not unattached.
But she still stole on last, quick glance as he walked away.
The back was every bit as fine as the front.
Since my dogs were determined to run this contest, I’ll let them have a say in it…in a way.
To enter, just answer the question. Are you a dog lover, cat lover, bird lover, snake lover, rodent lover, something else entirely…? None of the above?
One random winner will get an ARC of BUSTED.
Winner’s name will be posted here at my blog. Contest will be open for one week.
For the full list of rules, please visit the disclaimer page. Entering means you’ve read and agreed to the disclaimer and I suggest you read it, because otherwise you don’t know what you’re agreeing to…I might be requiring you to posting selfies of you clutching your prize while riding a purple unicorn. (Okay, that’s not likely, but you do need to read it.)
“If you’re going to dump me, just get on with it,” she said, furious. Misery and fury swamped her, and her entire body trembled. “Don’t think I can’t see it. You’ve been dancing around this for weeks and I told you that I’d fight you, but . . .” She trailed off, the words dying.
She slashed a hand through the air. “I don’t want to hear the excuses and the reasons and the lies. The bottom line is you don’t want me enough. So fine. It’s over.”
He grabbed her and hauled her against him. “You think I don’t want you?” The words were rasped against her lips and she tasted his blood, but she didn’t care.
His tongue pushed between her teeth as she gasped. All the rage he felt, and the pain he always covered, was poured into that kiss. She didn’t hold any of hers back, either. Because this was the last time, she realized. The very last time.
Curling her hand into the front of his shirt, she sagged between him and the wall as his tongue slid along hers, tasting her everywhere. And it was like the way he’d stared at her earlier—as though he was memorizing everything about the kiss, the way she tasted, the way she felt against him, the curves and hollows inside her mouth, as well as the curves of her body as he slid his hand down her back and grasped her hip to pull her closer.
They couldn’t be any closer unless they each dissolved into the other. She felt his erection grinding into her belly, his chest crushing against her breasts as she twined her arms around his neck.
And then . . .
Her legs wobbled with the speed with which he put her down.
He was three feet away and standing in the middle of the floor, staring out the back window.
“You think this is because I don’t want you.” His voice was flat, level even. She’d heard him talk to a cop, his adopted father, Abraham, and total strangers in that same tone of voice. But when he turned his head to finally meet her eyes, that blue gaze was vivid, all but burning. “Is that what you think?”
“You seem to make a habit of trying to walk away.” She wished she could sound as uninvolved. But her legs were shaking, her heart pounding, and just staying upright—without crying—took all of her energy.
He turned to face her. “The key word there is trying. I’ve been trying to walk away for years. I always knew things from my past would come back to bite me on the ass and I wanted you out of the way before it happened. It’s not because I don’t want you, Sybil. I want you too much. And I won’t let everything I am stain what you are.”
“Everything you are . . .” she echoed, shaking her head. As the words spun around and around inside her head, she found the strength—and the fury—she needed to shove off the wall. Glaring at him, she strode across the floor. There was still a smear of blood on his face and Sybil was tempted to hit him again. Her hand was starting to throb, but that didn’t much matter at this point. She was going to feel like a walking, bleeding wound here in a bit anyway.
“Everything you are.” She lifted a hand and covered his chest, staring at her widespread fingers. “What’s in here determines who you are.” She moved her hand up, pushed it into his hair so that her fingers now spread over his skull. “And what’s in here. The monsters in your past didn’t define you. They tried to break you and they failed. They tried to make you into a monster, but you made yourself into a man. You’ve defined yourself, not the past, as awful as it was. Not the monsters, not your evil father and not that bitch who whelped you. You did it, from the time you took the first step to leave right up until now, and you’ll keep on defining it.”
She moved back. “Are you really going to choose the past over me? Over us?”
Darker than Desire is due out next week. This book wraps up my latest romantic suspense series. For those of you like my more tormented heroes (ahem…Quinn, Broken, etc), the hero in this book is probably going to be right up your alley.
To celebrate the release of Darker than Desire and the conclusion of the series, I’m giving away an ebook reader. The winner will their choice of a Nook Glow or Kindle Fire (6 in). You can enter by simply leaving a blog post comment, but you can get extra entries and all of that is explained in the widget below.
Good luck and if you check out the book, I hope you love it…
LUST FOR LIFE
No matter how many times he’s left her in the past, Sybil Chalmers can’t ignore her feelings for the one man who stole her heart years ago. For countless nights, she has waited for him—for his kiss, his touch—and has longed for him to emerge from the shadows of his past. Only when she is in his arms does Sybil really feel alive…and finally, after all these years, that time is now.
A DEADLY DESIRE
He’s a man raised in a world of strict rules and unbreakable traditions and he’s always yearned to break free. But when a family tragedy lures him back home, he finds his one true passion has been there all along. With Sybil, he can explore his greatest potential—and allow her to discover a whole new level of ecstacy. But will a long-buried secret threaten to tear them apart? The only thing he knows for sure is that he will do anything to keep Sybil in his life…and keep her coming back for more…
The skin on the nape of his neck stood up.
His blood started to pump.
Slowly, he shifted his gaze and found himself staring across the neat, tidy little lawn.
There. That was the other thing he felt, a bizarre mix of need, longing and a twist in his heart that he couldn’t fully understand. It only happened around one person.
It wasn’t a surprise that she’d found him here.
Nor was it a surprise when his heart did that odd little twist.
She was the other person who managed to make him feel.
She made him want.
She made him need.
She made him regret, too.
Regret that he needed to push her away, regret that he couldn’t reach for her the way he wanted.
Regret that he wasn’t as strong as he should be, because even as he told himself to push her away, she started up the walk, the short skirt she wore barely clinging to her thighs and all he could think about was pulling her into his lap so that the skirt rode higher and he could cup her hips, pull her down to straddle him.
Vivid, overbright starbursts seemed to explode behind his eyes as that fantasy played out in his mind. It would be so easy. This was a secluded street and people had finally given up on the rubbernecking. Hardly anybody drove down the street to check out the burnt out wreck of the Frampton house. He could pull that stretchy bit of fabric up and be inside her in two minutes. It would be so easy to just lose himself to her.
She came to a halt in front of him while his blood pounded in slow, steady waves, while need clenched inside him like a fist.
Tell her to leave, common sense dictated. He’d already made the decision he needed to make.
But his head, his heart, his cock didn’t want to listen.
“Hey,” she said, her red-slicked lips curving up.
He stared at her mouth, thought about seeing that mouth open, seeing it glide down his chest.
Blinking, he managed, barely, to look away. “Hey back.”
This was yet another thing he lacked, the ability to talk, even to her, about anything that didn’t involve getting her naked and fucking her. Naked wasn’t even necessary as long as he could be inside her, lose himself to her, hide away from the demons that chased him.
But if he kept doing that, all those demons were going to start chasing her, too.
He wasn’t worth a whole hell of a lot and he didn’t care about a whole hell of a lot. But he’d burn this whole damn town to the ground before he let anything from his past start to haunt her. Every moment of peace he’d ever known had come from her. She mattered, more than anything or anybody else in his miserable world.
So instead of reaching for her, he stared out at the water, acutely aware as she sat down at his side. The journals sat at the other and he resisted the urge to grab them, disappear inside the house, hide them away from her. Hide them away, hide their secrets, as if that would make the truth any less than true.
“I don’t blame that kid,” Sybil said out of the blue.
Caught up in his own head, he barely understood what she meant. Looking over at her, he tracked her gaze and then, as a shiver of cold raced up his spine, he looked back over the water.
“Plenty of people don’t. Too bad he couldn’t find a way to trap his dad and uncle in there, too.”
Sybil murmured, “His uncle’s brains splattered all over the chief’s wall.”
“He went too easy.”
“True. But he is still gone.” Her gaze came over to him. “We fell asleep on you. What did you think about the movie?”
He frowned, tried to remember something about it. The boy. Wands. A rock. Then he shrugged. “What sort of name is Snape?”
Sybil laughed. “An interesting one. For an interesting character. Is he a good guy or a bad guy?”
The question caught him off guard. Then he looked down. “What does it matter?”
“Well, if you want to watch more of the series with us, it would be kind of fun for me to know now, what you think of him. He plays a big part in it.”
I’m not watching more. That was what he should tell her. Sighing, he looked away. Everything he should do, he couldn’t do. It had been like that for most of his life. He should found a better way to make people listen. He should have fought harder. He should have run sooner.
Then there were the things he shouldn’t have done. He shouldn’t have involved Lana. He shouldn’t have stayed in town. He shouldn’t have reached for Sybil that first night.
A hand reached up, touched his cheek. “You’re always so serious, baby.”
“Little reason to be otherwise.”
“True.” She moved then and he didn’t even have time to brace himself before she had settled herself in his lap, one leg planted on either side of his hips. Her hands came up, cupped his face. “How much longer until you decide to tell me?”
His hands moved of their own volition, fingers splayed wide across satiny soft thighs. “Tell you what, Sybil?”
“Don’t play games with me.” She dipped her head so that her hair fell around them like a curtain. “You’ve never done it before. Don’t start now.”
Noise clamored in the back of his head, all that chaos rising to a roar as he stared into those beautiful eyes. They slid between gold and green and right now, they all but glowed as she watched him.
Send her away. Tell her.
He slid his hands up, cupping her ass. And he groaned when he found her naked under that sorry excuse for a skirt. “I keep thinking it’s time to tell you to just go. To stay away from me.”
“That’s what I thought.” She rubbed her mouth against his. “Why don’t you do it, then? So I can ignore you and we can fight it out?”
The cool silk of her hair brushed against his cheek. He tangled one hand in it. “This isn’t a game anymore.”
“It never was.” She eased back, watching him with knowing eyes.
He curled his lip. “It was one thing when you were fucking some guy you thought was an Amish builder. It’s another thing when it’s me, possible murder suspect, sick degenerate. It’s just a matter of time before the cops decide to start pulling me, demanding answers about what happened the night I disappeared. Just a matter of time before everything comes out in the open. When nobody knew—”
She lifted a hand and pressed her finger to his lips.
“I always knew.”
Enter to win the Kindle Fire or Nook via the widget below. As always, the standard disclaimer applies.
Pretty, pretty, pretty please… before you ask any Qs, including whether the contest is open internationally, please read the disclaimer. That’s why it’s there. The contest rules include a line that reads entering means you’ve read and agreed to the rules laid out, so you might wanna read those rules anyway, because what if Iinclude that entering means you promise me a picture of you riding a purple pony with your prize if you win? If you ask a Q and I don’t answer it, it’s likely because I addressed it in the standard disclaimer.
The winner will be posted to the widget as this contest may hit several blogs. It’s open for two weeks and the winner will have two weeks after that to claim the prize otherwise it’s forfeit.